Blackstrap Molasses is a syrupy sweetener that can be bought pretty cheaply these days. Thankfully it is very different to other sweeteners which are highly refined, processed and stripped of all their nutrients (Glucose Syrup, White Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup etc….). I am a big believer in getting our vitamins and minerals from real food – For me a small amount of real food nutrients are far better utilised by the body than any synthetic vitamin could ever be.
Now I know a lot of people will think this post is basically touting sugar, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As blackstrap molasses is totally different from other types of sweet foods or sugars and works as a very healthy sweetener for tea, coffee, oatmeal and many other dishes.
Our society is so chemical laden that we are leeching the minerals that we need from our systems. Blackstrap puts back some of those minerals naturally.
This is because Blackstrap Molasses is one of the most nutrient dense foods around – full of vitamins and minerals containing the following:
- Calcium (more calcium than dairy)
- Mangenese, Chromium, Molybdenum, and many other trace minerals.
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin E
The high and bio-available source of Iron makes it a great addition to females diets as well as growing children – To put it in perspective Molasses has more iron than red meat. It is also rich in calcium which makes people think of dairy or green vegetables as the only source. We forget how important calcium is for metabolism, muscle contractions and correct cell function. 2 TSP’s of blackstrap molasses will provide you with a large proportion of your daily needs of many of these vitamins and minerals, most importantly though they come in a form that our bodies are familiar with and can make use of.
What Kind and Why?
You want to look for unsulphured and preferably organic blackstrap molasses, this means it will be free from nasty chemicals used in processing and ultimately leads to a purer product. Store it in a cool and dark cupboard and once opened it will last for around 6 months.
The reason for writing this post is firstly to show that all sugar is not bad. More likely it is the refined and processed sugars that have been stripped of their nutrients, remember that fruit is essentially just sugar but it is socially acceptable – why? because it has nutrients and fibre, this allows our bodies to understand what is going on and process these foods correctly. Since adding Blackstrap Molasses to my diet and not even in high amounts (1-2TSP’s per day) I have noted some really good results ranging from improved mood to better blood sugar balancing and a feeling of warmth or increased core temperature. This to me means it is doing something good and nourishing my body.
It is really nice added to coffee or tea as it gives them a somewhat fudge like but not overly sweet flavour, the same goes for drizzling over cooked oats or baked apple’s and yoghurt. I am not suggesting we eat boat loads of the stuff but it can definitely be a very healthy addition to your diet and works better in restoring energy and promoting recovery than a multi-vitamin. Giving growing children or people working & training hard in everyday life an extra nutrient hit.
Most people who train will find that after hard sessions at the gym they will often have sugar cravings – I know that I really enjoy fruit or coconut water after a good workout. It seems that sugar especially in its nutrient dense forms has a good effect at relaxing the adrenal glands which will have been working overtime during exercise – this in turn lowers stress and encourages rebuilding/relaxation.
A bit of a carry on to the last post on why we crave salt - there seems that there could be reason we crave sugar……. Until things are figured out there seems to be no harm in eating fruits, vegetables, and unrefined sugar like blackstrap molasses in moderation. You never know there may even be benefits…..